tv [untitled] July 31, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PDT
can be appealed, and new york city very little can be appealed. you set up the rules, you put the rules in place, and you let it go. we think that the -- in a real world, the changes proposed by supervisor wiener to this, that it shouldn't delay projects and changes proposed by ann marie rodgers in the real world, those are very modest changes. you shouldn't have any trouble adopting those. if you're going to let this go forward. thank you. ~ good afternoon, director ram and commissioners. i'm rose hillson and i'd like to say a few comments about what the previous speaker said. in response to why we need this ero hearing and have it televised is to ensure that people are going to see on the screen what the ero has made a decision on. and i noticed the planning staff mentioned it could be the ero or the designee of the ero.
and i hope that both of those people have the same level of expertise. the thing with the last approval being given up, we were in discussions and in good faith asked that if we allow for the legislation as was passed by the board of supervisors 11 to nothing, that we would go ahead and have this ero hearing and that's why we still ask for it. it's not a matter of going to the board of appeals is even more punitive because you have to get 4 out of 5 votes. it's not a matter of that. it's more about public process. it's also about the cost of the board of appeals hearing. currently as i know it, i think it's $52 1. there are some people who are on fixed incomes or somehow they can't come up with $52 1 to file an appeal. ~ i think that's going to be a burden on the public. it's not a public benefit to have that happen. and also, if we go to the board of appeals, you still have these things televised and staff time is eaten up and all that. so, i don't know that that's
such a valid argument. the cost to the public and the harm to the environment is one cost that we also need to look at, not just the cost of the development side. and this whole policy of procedural thing was to make sure that we look at the city for everybody's use, not just for one particular group of people. that's why we all came together and that's why we spent a lovely nine months trying to go through what's the best for the city and for the public good. let's see. there was one other thing i was going to mention. and -- oh, yeah, the ero hearing is also very necessary because even though this person, the ero has made the decision on why it was exempt, that person is very well informed on the project. and i would hope that the designee is also. but there would be gray areas and that's the reason why we
need to have this heard in the event that some little thing is left out or there's some new information that we don't know about. and that always happens especially now that we can't come at the later stages when a project has been fully defined, has fully morphed and gelled and become ripe. and that's why we ask for this public vetting through the media. that's it. thank you very much. >> thank you. is there additional public comment? okay, seeing none, public comment is closed. i wanted to ask mr. chiu to come up and speak specifically about project delays, how this really does or does not affect the timing of projects. ~ true >> justice true again from supervisor david chiu's office. on that particular issue, i think my understanding is my colleague from [speaker not understood]'s office andres
power spoke before i was here. my understanding from the city attorney, from the advocate side that we worked with is that there is -- the ero hearing will not delay a project in any way and would be open and supervisor chiu would be supportive of clarifying that if supervisor wiener [speaker not understood] in committee. that's for them to work out in committee on monday. but that's absolutely acceptable to supervisor chiu. >> okay. thank you. opening it up to commissioner questions and comments. commissioner antonini. >> yeah, i have a question for either ms. rodgers or ms. jones regarding the appealability to the board of appeals. and my question basically is there was one speaker, at least, who said the environmental action would not be appealable to the board of appeals, but one would expect any project would have appeals if there are permits which they themselves would be appealable. >> that's correct.
when staff is presenting and we were saying there was an alternative method for appealing these sorts of changed projects, we were saying that generally those would be change projects [speaker not understood] exemption that have a building permit. so, the building permits could also be appealable. also, you might find it interesting as well as the public the fee for appeals to the building permits is much less than it is for a dr hearing. it's $175 and there is a fee waiver process for those who are in need and cannot afford the $175. >> that's good to know. and then the subject of the hearing at the board of permit appeals could then also mention as part of their appeal environmental concerns, or the fact -- >> it would be -- no building permit can be issued unless there is an adequate c-e-q-a document in place. so, the argument before the board of appeals under our scenario would be the building permit was improperly issued because there is not a valid c-e-q-a document for it because it is changed from the way the
budget description was. >> thank you. well, that answers my only question. i really don't see where this is necessary. we've just been through an exhaustive process. we've been working on this for years and finally we did get, thanks to the supervisors who managed to work out a compromise, but i think the three reasons stated by staff are really clear ones. there is a code now as part of the new legislation that spells out specifically what would require a new environmental document and what would not. so, i think, you know, an appeal could be directed in written form to the environmental review officer or he or she then would be obliged to respond in writing in a set period of time stating the reasons for their decision based upon what's there. and it would seem to me this is more than enough. and if the appellants or those who feel it's not adequate still aren't happy, if they
can't scrape together 175 bucks collectively to go to the board of appeals, there probably isn't too much interest in it. and we created the board of permit appeals years ago. and this is an avenue that really exists. unfortunately we have a problem in san francisco where we duplicate process and we have to add additional process into something we've already established and, you know, it's already there. and the third argument, and i think this is a good one, we don't see this happening very often in the past. we haven't seen even when appeals were allowed more helter-skelter, the decisions of the environmental review officer have not been challenged in the past at various appeals, but were more liberal. so, i don't really see why we have to do this in view of the fact we've just passed something and i think the written appeal and explanation in writing would be enough for me.
>> i'm going to join commissioner antonini in this direction. i'm not sure exactly where it's abusive right now. i think there probably have been circumstances where it's been sent back. i think that many of these projects that come back with significant change probably are going to downsize rather than grow. so, i just think it adds, as staff mentioned, an additional layer, additional expense. sfgov tv is very expensive. i wish i found out how much it is per hour to operate. so, i'm currently not supportive, but we'll hear what other commissioners have to say. commissioner sugaya. >> yeah, i'm supportive. i think that the argument that we lost -- i wasn't for supervisor wiener's legislation anyway, so, i'm coming from that side of the fence. i think the fact that we lost the last approval and had to
compromise on first approval is reason enough to go ahead and support this particular piece of legislation. as far as arguments about cost, the planning commission agenda, it's already going to start at 12 o'clock and televise it anyway. so, i don't think that's a reason. other arguments have been made in the past about staff resources and time and everything else. well, you know, if we wanted to make that argument, we could bring that up every time a piece of legislation created a new conditional use process for the commission to take a look at, and we've never opposed it on those grounds. the board of appeals, i was a member of the board of appeals for four years and i don't think that that process necessarily fits the kind of decision making that is required in this case. in the first place, i'm not sure that if you appealed a
building permit that you could appeal the building permit on the reason that the environmental review officer may or may not have had -- made the right decision because in the past, at least yesterday's hearing before the hpc, it was said that this was -- well, i don't remember exactly how that went. the other point about the board of appeals is that appeal can be made toward the end of the project. so, if you're saying this is an appeal mechanism that should be used instead of the one that's being proposed by supervisor kim and chiu, then we are into a delay situation, i think. and i don't know how supervisor wiener would feel about that, but in this case we're saying that, okay, there is an appeal mechanism. it's through the board of appeals. you can do it through the building permit. so, the building permit, the
final building permit isn't issued until all the plans are done, until the complete project has been designed. it's months down the road. and then you have an appeal coming along which has to then be scheduled before the board of appeals, which has to then be heard by the board of appeals, which then can be, again, appealed prior to the board of appeals by saying there's possibly new information and we want a rehearing. so, that to me seems to indicate that that mechanism is going to result in delays that this particular legislation would not. as far as the -- and then however you want to characterize it, that was presented by mr. powers, the no delay apparently it's okay with supervisor chiu. i think -- i don't know about supervisor kim. she's not here. i think that no further appeals
would take place -- i can't think of a situation offhand where there would be any further appeals on this particular issue. and then as far as representative of the ero, that seems to be perfectly okay with me. so, i'm going to make a motion to go ahead and support supervisor kim's legislation with the amendments or modifications provided by supervisor wiener. >> i'll second. >> commissioner moore. >> i am in sub ported of the trailing legislation partially because i share the public's concern [speaker not understood] all of the issues raised in supervisor wiener's legislation. ~ supported and the question [speaker not understood] here in two or
three meetings prior to today. i believe that the trailing legislation is just the last start on what i consider good public policy. it is indeed the right balance given how and on what turns the broader public concerns created consensus, except holding out for getting this particular board before appeal. so, i believe it is in the public's right to know. it establishes clean and clear procedures and it balances the time of critical negotiations [speaker not understood]. when you add that far apart, there is somebody willing to step up to the line and create compromise. the public has created compromise and has [speaker not understood] that you will be able to hold up your end. and that is what indeed today what has support for the trailing legislation. i'd like to say that i do not
believe that there is ever cost for me tricks of government. ~ metrics [speaker not understood] our commissioner comments, to issue relevant to this commission. the public, instead of coming in with 20 or 30 people would organize around one or two people speaking about the concerns which can be expressed by a few rather than by 20 people speaking the same subject matter. so, restating to used to's dollars as an excuse does do for me the opposite. in that sense i will support the motion on the floor. the only thing i'd like to say is this particular compromise puts all of us on notice in terms of efficiency, thoroughness, honesty, transparency. the one point i would like to
ask mr. power to spend a little bit more time on, what i believe in the environmental review part of the planning department, the buck stops with the ero. and i believe it needs to be the ero and not designee would have to be accountable during that hearing should there be an appeal, and i hope there won't. >> commissioner wu. >> so, my main concern through all of the c-e-q-a reform has been actually about the bigger projects, the ones that require e-i-rs and require negative declarations. i think the definition of meeting those kind of environmental reviews means they have more impact. that said, i seconded the motion because just think it's important to talk about the fact that this is part of the larger compromise. c-e-q-a has been [speaker not understood] and i think as a city body, we've spent disproportionate amount of time on it. so, i think we need to, you
know, support the larger package of what's been negotiated in order to move on into at least put this part to rest, to be able to move on to focus on other priorities. standing alone and i know that's sort of the nature of trailing legislation, i don't think this is the highest priority for the department. but as part of the larger package, will be supportive. >> commissioner sugaya. >> thank you, commissioner wu. my thoughts, too. but on another note, i originally was supporting supervisor kim's original proposal, which was to appeal it back to the planning commission. i did that because it seems strange to me that you would appeal an ero's decision back to the ero, the very person who made the decision in the first place. it's like having the planning commission make a decision and then you could appeal it back
to the planning commission. it just didn't make any sense. however, given the fact that there have been a series of compromises now worked out and apparently more are going to be worked out, i'm supportive of this particular legislation, but i think i would rather have had it the planning commission as the appeal body. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, as i pointed out yesterday it was a unanimous vote by the board of supervisors, it's [speaker not understood] to be presented the trailing legislation they voted in favor of it. but this is a separate piece of legislation that didn't make it into the bill. if it had been that acceptable to a majority of the supervisors, it would have been in the bill in the first place. and when they talk about cost, it's not just to the city, but the cost is to, you know, enormously expensive for a
project -- and that's why most projects are killed by environmental means because the appeal level is lower. it's a simple majority of supervisors. and if it turns out that it's decided to r one reason or another that the change was made and we have to have, you know, new environmental documents, the cost of reissuing an e-i-r or mooching from a negative declaration to an e-i-r is very costly, not only in the formation of this document, but the amount of time it takes to be recirculated. it's basically a death sentence for a project and there are projects that maybe should not go forward. i'm not saying all should, but there should be a real reason that the environmental document is not inclusive of all the things that are necessary. and i really feel that, again, we're adding more process to something. and the very fact that a lot of the appellants are speaking in favor of this is the fact that, you know, they want to have
another avenue. they don't feel that the permit appeals -- it isn't used, but it could be used. if we didn't want to use it, why did we put it in place? and the other thing that could happen, we've seen this on a few projects, is all of a sudden we start having a public hearing. it becomes a [speaker not understood]. and the next thing that happens is we have some sort of action at the ballot box or we have action through private legal action. it just adds more fuel to the fire of something that, you know, is spelled out pretty easily that the environmental review officer can make a clear decision and substantiate his or her feelings. so, i'm opposed to the motion. >> commissioner moore. >> i have to make a comment for mr. powers as well as for the ero and that is the city's ability to raise the bar of what basic information needs to be in place to start an e-i-r.
in other communities, and i'm speaking from the practical end and the practitioner, many communities require more information, what seems to go into large projects here in the city. there is qualitative and quantitative information which [speaker not understood] the intent and extent of a project. [speaker not understood] here we have a project e-i-r [speaker not understood] the two documents point often very different from the first concept which becomes the e-i-r's scoping base and what ultimately gets approved. so, i would be asking you [speaker not understood] to start very carefully look at what you are asking for when you start to scope the e-i-r. and that is specifically to quantitative and qualitative additional information about the project. you might look at other cities and see what they do. from my own experience in california, i can tell you that
in some communities i need to do a hell of a lot more work to get my project to the e-i-r phase. >> commissioner sugaya. >> i just want to make some observations here. first of all, the legislation that supervisor kim proposed which is now this trailing legislation, she attempted to get it into the larger piece of legislation. the board of supervisors didn't decide to take it out or incorporate it. they were told by the city attorney's office that it couldn't be incorporated and, therefore, it became a piece of trailing legislation. secondly, this piece of legislation is not about e-i-rs, it is not about negative declarations, it is not about pomds. it's about exempted projilts. so, it's extremely limited and it has nothing to do with appealing an e-i-r in a
different manner. ~ projects those are larger projects, i think, that have a different process and would be subject to a different appeal process all together. so, we're talking about exempt projects and just wanted to make that observation. >> commissioners, there is a motion and second on the floor to adopt a recommendation of approval for the staff ordinance with the modifications proposed by supervisor wiener. on that motion, commissioner antonini? >> no. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> yes. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> and commission president fong? >> no. >> that motion fails 3 to 2. >> passes? >> it fails.
you need a majority of the commission. [speaker not understood]. is there a subsequent motion or a motion to continue? >> commissioner moore, sorry. >> i ask that this item be continued because there are two commissioners absent today. that is mr. hillis and -- >> borden. >> commissioner borden. >> the board is going to move ahead with it anyway so, it doesn't matter. >> aboard, the land use committee will take this up monday and the full board will take it up tuesday. since this is not a provision in the planning code technically the planning commission isn't required to make a recommendation on this. >> [speaker not understood]. >> so, if we can continue it, we're going to miss the window
or we could move it forward without a recommendation or entertain another motion. >> we could -- well, any of those. >> just want to make sure [speaker not understood]. >> sir, please just turn that device off. >> all right, commissioner moore. [laughter] >> procedurally, we can only send the messages which typically are being sent. a 3 to 2 vote in the absence of two other commissioners for me is still that this commission expresses strong support to the motion at hand. so, we could put an asterisk underneath there. i would appreciate you explaining why we only have five people sitting in today. >> technically while it's no recommendation, we can certainly relay -- we can certainly relay the commission's sentiments and the dialogue.
>> they need it, too. >> i'm happy to speak. [laughter] >> are we still on the item? >> we are. >> commissioner borden, actually, unless you've been [speaker not understood] or watching this over some form of media, you can't actually participate in this vote. >> i was watching on my phone staff presentation the beginning of public comment. >> the city attorney is saying you would have to have seen the whole hearing. >> okay. welcome, regardless. >> okay, fine. >> commissioner wu. >> i'm happy to make a motion to forward without recommendation. i think maybe i can ask if the conversation can just be conveyed, you know, there's the record of the conversation that
happened today, but the motion will be to forward without recommendation. >> maybe i could suggest you do that, adopt the recommendation to forward without recommendation acknowledging the vote of the commissioners that were present. and that way at least it conveys that message. >> correct. >> i would second that. >> commissioner moore, did you have another comment? >> no. >> commissioner antonini. >> is there any difference if we pass this motion or we just have no -- don't support this motion? it would still be sent on to the board without recommendation. >> right. >> except for the record that you would state what the vote was even though it was unsuccessful. >> sounds reasonable enough. >> okay. so, we have a motion, we have a second. >> yes, second. >> so, there is a motion and a
second, commissioners, to adopt resolution of no recommendation, acknowledging the vote of the planning commission. ~ of the original motion. exactly, the vote count of the original motion. commissioner antonini? >> aye. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner sugaya? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> and commission president fong? >> aye. >> so moved, commissioners, that motion passes unanimously 5 to 0. 5 to 0. >> 5 to 0. >> thank you, everybody. next item, please. >> commissioners, that will place us on item 9 for case no. 2013.0724t, amendment to the planning code sections 249.60
(mission alcoholic beverage special use district) and 726.1 (valencia street neighborhood commercial transit district). draft ordinance. >> good afternoon, commissioners, betsy hayward, planning staff. before i make my presentation if it's all right with you, i'd like to turn it over to mr. power from supervisor wiener's office. supervisor wiener is one of the two sponsoring supervisors of the amendment. >> hello again, commissioners. i'm going to hopefully more positive note. so, before you today is a piece of legislation that brings modest reforms to the mission alcohol special use district ~. our office has been working closely with supervisor david campos's office and our various shared individual constituents to advance legislation that maintains the goals of the alcohol district to limit
negative neighborhood externalities [speaker not understood]. we have had a sear i of town hall meetings and reached out to neighborhood and merchant organizations as we developed these modest reforms. supervisor wiener and supervisor campos are co-sponsoring this legislation. the sophie hayward from planning will present the ordinance, but essentially the legislation does a few things. first, it allows transfers of liquor licenses within the district. so, currently my understanding is that the mission alcohol special use district, the first alcohol restricted use district to be established under the planning code is also the most restrictive. it doesn't allow transfers within the district at all. this means that potentially bad actors are frozen in place, there is no enincentive to close up and move on because that would mean the loss of a license. this means that the code is propping up those very uses that perhaps most of us would like to go away. under the legislation, any transfers would need to be considered as a conditional use
and the legislation requires that good neighbor policies be attached to any conditional use [speaker not understood]. secondly, the legislation allows uses that currently have a liquor license to close down to make repairs, like opening up windows, improving the facade, improving layout for a-d-a access, et cetera, without losing their license. the longest the liquor establishment is bringing their use into better conformity with the alcohol district controls and with good urban design principles they can make those improvements. currently if they close more than a month they'll lose their license. there is no incentive to make improvements. third, the legislation allows currentes to relocate or expand. again, subject to a conditional use and good neighbor policies. and fourth and lastly, the [speaker not understood] remove the controls that incentivize large corporate stores that disincentive eyes smaller lockally owned ones. as it stand large grocery